Blog Brunch-y Thoughts

Last Saturday was Blog Brunch aka the best Saturday of the month. Discussing bloggy thangs with talented bloggers from all over the country is a pretty powerful experience – and super overwhelming. It’s like being in a room with hundreds of people all talking at the same time. I have zero strategy for trying to keep up with the barrage of hashtagged tweets that stream into my tweetdeck. I basically just hang on for the ride, respond when I can, and try to favorite or retweet every bit of inspiration that comes my way. It’s almost like a meditative exercise, you have to be completely in the moment… no? Not a good comparison?

This month’s topic was all about content. This is a tricky one for me. I feel like I’m still trying to find my niche…

Everyone talks about how important it is to define your blog brand and/or identity and then stick to writing posts that reflect that identity. Welp, artsocial has gone through many changes since it first started. Me and a friend started artsocial as a social media marketing biz for artists, something she knew a lot about. After about 6 months we both decided social media marketing wasn’t the right path for either of us. She went on to pursue other passions and I was left with the realization: holy wordpress, I’m in love with blogging.

So, after months of building a brand around social media marketing I shifted the focus of artsocial to “just” an art blog. But after a while I didn’t want to write solely about art, that just felt too limiting… I recently started incorporating more of myself into the blog, my experiences with art, my art crushes, the prints I buy for the house, thoughts on becoming a blogger, etc., and this honesty and transparency feels much more exciting than what I was posting when artsocial first started.

So that’s the journey. After nine months of blogging, I feel like I’m just starting… which is kind of exciting, but also makes me think “what the heck have I been doing for nine months!” Finding my blog identity has been a process, one that I’m still going through. I’d love to simply fast forward to being an awesome veteran blogger with a boss website! I guess it’s the journey not the destination this time… so if you’re wondering why the site looks slightly different every time you visit, that’s just me trying to find the perfect look for this little brand I’m building :)

AND that’s the story behind my blog name, I’m sure if it hadn’t started as a social media business for artists, I would’ve called it like Chai Tea & Gangster Rap or something…

So this month’s Blog Brunch was really helpful for this stage of my blogging journey… here’s some of my favorite advice from this session.

What rules you should follow…


Golden rules: 1) Only post what you love. 2) Don’t post if you’re not inspired. If you’re inspired by what you’re writing about, it shows. Never post just to post. This also goes for every other form of social media – never tweet just to tweet, or ‘gram just to ‘gram… everyone can tell.

From the tweetdeck:

Jamie Wyckoff @JuliasPoppies: Posting for the sake of posting is just as boring to a reader as it is to you.

Jenn Elliott Blake ‏@scoutrentals: i also listen to my gut 1st and foremost. i ask myself “why am i blogging this”. if can’t wait to blog it, it’s a goodie.

Kristin / Krissy @_kristinb: Post topics you truly love and want to discuss. It’ll shine through over fluff.

When you’re feeling uninspired…

If you’re feeling uninspired, UNPLUG! Walk away from the computer (and that doesn’t mean just switching to the iphone). Get outside, give yourself a real break from the interweb.

This next point surprised me, but I agree: don’t look to other blogs similar to your own for inspiration. Looking to other blogs can lead to the dreaded envy monster, which can be super discouraging. OR, even worse, looking at other (bigger/flashier/cooler than my own) blogs can lead to the temptation to do some content stealin’. Don’t do it. There are an infinite number of ideas out there, you just have to tap into them… and that usually happens with some downtime.

From the tweetdeck:

Amy Anderson ‏@ParkerEtc: Original ideas come from original sources. Read a book, visit the park. But never search other blogs to overcome creative funks.

Juliette Gold ‏@Juliette9Gold: Usually, inspiration comes if you don’t stress about it.

At the end of the day…

Blog for you. You’ve chosen to blog because you enjoy it, right? So be yourself and have fun. That’s all we can really do.

From the tweetdeck:

Poppy Magazine ‏@poppylindsay: If I don’t like what I am posting, then it shouldn’t go up. Never post to please your followers, it’s your blog.

Olivia Ramirez @0liviaDee: my only rule is to be myself. there’s no need to be someone I’m not in my posts.

 

Were you at Blog Brunch?? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!

 

images found here: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

23 thoughts on “Blog Brunch-y Thoughts

  1. Sandra

    I was at Blog Brunch too – luckily in person at brunch with Melanie of Inward Facing Girl and Brianne of Ravenna Girls.

    I got a lot out of it too. Because it’s summer and my daughter is out of school, I don’t have even close to the time that I had before to blog. I was stressing about it for a week or so – inspiration is never my problem, time to execute is! I love blogging and the small community that I have built up over the past six months. Will they leave if I am blogging less til the fall?

    Well, I will just keep putting one foot in front of the other and as was reinforced at BlogBrunch, only write about what I love and would want to read myself. Even if it isn’t as often. September will come soon enough and I’ll have more time to ramp things up again.

    As an aside, I love the BlogBrunch because it’s full of smart and creative tweeters. A lovely group of people to chat with!

    Reply
    1. Erin

      Thank you so much for your comment, Sandra! I loved hearing your thoughts. I bet your daughter is so excited to have the summer with you :) but I know what you mean about not having enough time. My day job often takes me away from this blog that I adore so much!! I also often wonder if I’d lose readers if I start posting less?? After this session of Blog Brunch, I think it comes down to quality vs. quantity. Quality posts will always bring in more loyal readers in the long run. The pressure to post everyday can be so destructive! But ya know, I think posting a really authentic and creative post once a week is better than posting a lot of less meaningful posts daily…

      Ok and I LOVE that you did Blog Brunch with other bloggers in person!! What a wonderful idea! I think there needs to be a real live Blog Brunch event (Alt Summit style)… I’d go in a heartbeat.

      Reply
  2. Hilary

    These are all such great points! There’s so much of this that I forget to keep in mind. Like the comparing yourself to others thing. It can be so dangerous!!

    Thanks for sharing the recap.

    Reply
    1. Erin

      Thank you, Hilary! I’m definitely guilty of comparing myself to other, more established blogs from time to time and then getting super discouraged. It’s so silly. There is enough creativity and great ideas for everyone. I read somewhere (aka on Twitter): Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. SUCH a good one. I remind myself of this frequently :)

      Reply
  3. rita

    thank you so much for this post! this was my first blog brunch and i actually only just launched my blog this week, so i was so overwhelmed! it’s so helpful to read a recap and see what was impactful to someone who has been doing this for awhile… thank you!

    Reply
    1. Erin

      Rita! You are more than welcome! I’m so happy to hear you liked the post. And congrats on launching your blog! Hooray! I love the name :) I look forward to following along!

      Reply
  4. Christie Jones

    This month was my first blog brunch. It was really great to hear all the different tips and points. As Sandra said you really summed this up perfectly. Thanks for your thoughts on this!

    Reply
  5. Juliette Gold

    Hi Erin!

    That is such a wonderful post! I really like the way you’ve articualted your thoughts and musings. Also, the graphics are simply stunning!

    Blogbrunch really is a lot of fun, and also a great way to learn more about blogging. I think another important tip, that I don’t think was mentioned that much during brunch actually, is to enjoy the journey. The post itself is the end-product, while the writing process and the construction of the content is the process. It should be also enjoyable and fun, and done with no pressure [:

    [Heart]
    Juliette

    P.S: Thank you so much for quoting my tweet! I was extremely excited when I’ve discovered it [:

    Reply
  6. Sarah

    Thanks for the post Erin! I had to miss blog brunch this month & was bummed- It seemed like a good one! It’s so nice to hear others have an identity crisis when it comes to blogging- I’ve been doing it for about a year, and feel like I’m just (sort of) figuring out what I want my blog to be. I’m happy that I have allowed myself to just explore posting different things and have let things develop naturally. I’ve found, generally the posts that take the most time and effort are usually the ones I’m most excited and proud of. Makes sense. But also makes you realize this blogging business isn’t for the faint of heart!

    Reply
    1. Erin

      Sarah, it’s so nice to hear you feel the same way! I think I need to just let go of my expectations and – like you said – let things develop naturally. And you’re totally right, the posts that take the most time are always the best :) I hope you can come to the next Blog Brunch!

      Reply
    1. Erin

      Amy! Thank you so much!! Blog Brunch has really been a source of inspiration for me. Having the opportunity to discussing blogging with so many talented people is such an empowering experience. It really is the best :)

      Reply
  7. Lisa

    Erin, this post got me thinking in so many ways! I’ve been feeling the same way! I’m still finding my niche too, and while I’m obsessed with design and art (and have been blogging about it a lot over the last 6 months), I’ve been wanting to incorporate more of the person behind the blog. And each day I wonder, where is this all going? I’ve been wanting to join Blog Brunch for a while now, and your post has inspired me to do so next month – what a wonderful recap and I love all the points that were made. It’s so very true! Thanks for sharing your insights – lovely post!

    Reply
    1. Erin

      Thank you, Lisa! I think Melanie brought up a really interesting point – maybe it is best to simply focus on what we’re passionate about and forget about trying to fit into a specific “niche.” I would LOVE there to be more Lisa in Joycreation :) I think incorporating more of ourselves into our blogs is the best way to be unique… cuz what’s more unique than youuuu.

      Reply
  8. Melanie

    Great wrap up, Erin! I think if you’re posting stuff that you love and are passionate about, then you’ve found your niche. I’m not really one for niches myself. They sound too permanent. I want to be free! :) I think your blog is beautiful and that incorporating more Erin into it makes it even better. xo

    Reply
    1. Erin

      Melanie, your comment just made my day. I 1000% agree with you!! Confining myself to one niche does sound rather limiting, I want to be free too! This little blog should be a place for me to be ME and share all the things I love with you wonderful readers… here’s to no limitations! :)

      Reply

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